HIDE & SEEK
“My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people…My sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.” -Ez. 37:27-28
Sometimes as I enter the homestretch of the Lenten journey, I don’t feel any“extra holy” from what I have taken on or given up this Lent. While I started out with gusto, my Lenten observances may have missed a few days, petered off, or even stopped completely. Now I am just fatigued and overall apathetic. Like Caiaphas, I am clinging to flimsy excuses: giving up something for Lent was pointless, God didn’t care anyway, why bother?
As I enter Holy Week, it is easy to look around me and feel like God has bigger things to worry about than my everyday problems. My toddler is shrieking during Mass with the archbishop, someone I’ve had difficulty with keeps getting under my skin, my quirks continue to annoy me (and others)... I see all these realities and sigh, “God’s not there.”
I have kept myself quite busy putting God in His place and telling him where He does and does not belong. In reality, God has come to live in my messy, noisy reality (whether or not I welcomed him).
Last week my nephew made a fort out of the bottom shelf in the laundry room. He and Paul brought blankets and toys to make a secret hideout. Children look at a pile of laundry and see endless possibilities. Likewise, God has taken the simple pieces of my life (my hopes, responsibilities, and daily routines) and made a fort out of my ordinariness.
I’ve been so busy telling God where he is not welcome, that I missed his invitation to “come and just be.” As the horror of the coming week unfolds in the readings, starting with the lengthy Passion narrative tomorrow, the challenge is to see God, fully present there as well, in the suffering and the injustice of it all. Can I hold the suffering and the Resurrection together? What if I focused on this image of best buddies who have made something out of nothing? What if God and I were clinging to each other like best friends who never ran out of adventures?
I find Sarah Watkins' “Where Will You Be” to be a helpful reflection on the limitations I place on God. What would happen if I stopped telling God that His “love is not enough”?
When you think that your love is not enough
And you think that my love is not enough
When my thoughts no longer comfort you
And my heart no longer moves you
When my voice no longer soothes you
Where will you be